Is giving back to the community “yoga”?

I am a firm believer in helping change the world in a positive way one good dead at a time. This intension sends out a universal wave of positivity and whether we know it or not actually has an impact on others. We practice the same intention setting when we have our own regular yoga and meditation practice.

But is doing good for others actually “yoga”? I have seen comments from others that helping support good causes such as the SUP Clean-up has nothing to do with yoga. This also coming sadly enough from other people who practice yoga or are learning about the philosophy of yoga.

I would like to take time briefly to discuss the 8 limbs of yoga as told in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali including the yamas and the niyamas. For those of you who don’t know what the Yoga Sutras are- that is esentially THE yoga bible as written by Sri Krishna Pattahbi Jois one of the yogic scholars that helped bring forth modern yoga.

The 8 Limbs of Yoga are the following:

  1. Yama- ethical practice
  2. Niyama- self-discipline and spirituality
  3. Asana- yoga postures
  4. Pranayama- yogic breathing
  5. Pratyahara- transcending your senses
  6. Dharana- focus on one thing, energetic focus
  7. Dyana- meditation
  8. Samadhi- profound connection with the divine

I want to focus specifically on the 5 Yamas and the 5 Niyamas.

All 5 of the Yamas have to do with self-truth, not stealing, non-violence, and truthfulness to the world around you. They can be found in this link. The 5 Niyamas have to do with cleanliness, contentment, contemplation, and spiritual austerity. They can be found also here.

I believe that community service embraces all of these and therefore when we practice “Karmic Yoga” we receive back what we put out to the universe. Respecting nature is also self-respect. A clean environment helps assure a strong and healthy world to live in. Pondering over ways to help make the world cleaner is in a sense mindfulness which directly links back to the 8 Limbs of Yoga.

My intention is to set an example for others to have respect for a cleaner and healthier world and I am doing that through the SUP Clean-up Efforts here in Breda and helping our countrywide efforts with SUP Clean-up Nederland.

If you would like to help out with the next SUP Clean-Up, click here.  If you would like more information about SUP Clean-Up Nederland, click here.

Thanks for reading! See you on the water!

–Kristina

 


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